The Obvious Danger Doctrine (Part 2)

We recently blogged about the obvious danger doctrine and how it applies in premises liability cases. We discussed that the test for whether the obvious danger doctrine applies is not whether the object that caused the injury is obvious, but whether the dangerous condition of the object is obvious. In the case from our first blog, the obvious danger doctrine did not apply because while the mat which caused the Plaintiff to fall was obviously in sight, the dangerous condition of the mat (that it had humps in it that could cause someone to slip & fall) was not obvious. The recent case of Rodriguez v. Akal Security, demonstrates a situation where the obvious danger doctrine did apply.

In Rodriguez, the Plaintiff was being detained at the Krome Processing Center after entering the county illegally. The Plaintiff was injured while at the Center’s gym when he fell off a piece of exercise equipment called the “ProMaxima Hip and Dip Combo.” One side of the piece of equipment was used for doing dips and the other side was used for doing chin-ups. The Plaintiff could not reach the chin-up bar and decided to climb on the side used for dips in order to reach the chin-up bar. The Plaintiff fell and was injured while attempting this maneuver and sued the security company because their employees did not warn the Plaintiff that he was using the equipment improperly. The Court did let the case get to a jury and ruled against the Plaintiff applying the obvious danger doctrine. The court noted that, “As a matter of Florida law, there is no duty to warn of an obvious danger. Here, the obvious danger of falling that arises from climbing to the top of the ProMaxima is apparent to any reasonable individual.” This is a different result than the case with the mat because it wasn’t obvious that there was anything dangerous about the mat, but there is something obviously dangerous with climbing on top of equipment in a gym. If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Robert Sparks Attorneys today for a free case evaluation.